The Sony Xperia Play users should not be disappointed for the lack of official ICS updates as there are many ways in which they can power up the performances of their smartphones. And the best way in which they can update the Play’s OS is by flashing a custom ROM into the system. During our previous guides we have thought you how to perform such operations, numerous firmware being available for us; anyway, in this tutorial I will do the same for the latest custom ROM released for the Xperia Play handsets, the XDark, which is being based on the ICS Android 4.0.3 platform.

The software will bring all the Ice Cream Sandwich features on your Android powered device along with other capabilities that will power up and customize the performances of your Play. This is the most complex operation that you can apply on a smartphone, so after taking care of this you will be able to take full advantage of your phone. But there are more things you need to know before performing the update, important ones as we need to talk about the warranty, the data which is stored on your phone and about some preparation procedures that are required for the proper guide.

First of all, in order to install the XDark custom ROM on your Xperia Play you must have a phone with an unlocked bootloader. Learning how to do this is not our purpose, but what interests us is related to the warranty. By unlocking the bootloader you will make changes into the internal system of your phone. In a few words you will remove the factory restrictions, which can leads only to one thing: the warranty will be void. So when flashing the XDark custom ROM the warranty will already be lost. You can restore it by downgrading to the stock ROM or by relocking the bootloader by following a suitable step by step guide.

Leaving this aside, let’s talk a little bit about the ROM you are about to flash on your Xperia Play. As usual, the software was developed and tested by those of xda-developers, so we have them to thanks for this guide. Then, it’s important to know that this is the first version of the firmware, so there might be minor bugs in the system. From what we know further versions will soon follow meaning that the problems will be resolved. For making a proper idea, here are the XDark features. Remember that you will not get the basic and default ICS OS, many extra features being included. Also the classic Android interface is replaced by a custom one.

[caption id="attachment_6759" align="aligncenter" width="332"]The ICS XDark main Features The ICS XDark main Features[/caption]

Now, a backup should be made. Else, after installing the ROM you will notice that all of your data was wiped out. So, for avoiding this, use our backup guides and learn how to keep your personal info in safe hands. You can then return here and safely update your Sony Xperia Play. But, don’t forget the pre requisites mentioned above. It’s extremely important to complete them if you want to make it through this update method. Also, you will have to download a tool to your computer so the USB cable should be near you.

  • Enable USB debugging from your phone.
  • Don’t use (or just uninstall) the security programs which are being installed on your handset and on your computer. These tools can interfere with our work.
  • Keep your smartphone “alive” during the update operation. Just charge the battery first.
  • Make sure you flash the ROM on a Sony Xperia Play device and not on similar Android powered handsets as you can brick them.
  • Don’t forget the backup operation.

With that we are finally over with the introduction and with the preparation procedures. You can start the proper tutorial; don’t hesitate to talk with us if anything bad happens or if you are having problems in understanding something.

How to Update Sony Xperia Play with ICS XDark Custom ROM Firmware

  1. Download the update file from here.
  2. Save it on your PC.
  3. Connect the phone with the PC via USB cord.
  4. Copy paste the file downloaded in step 1 from the computer to the handset.
  5. Disconnect the Play and turn it off.
  6. Press and hold the “Search button” and while doing this re-connect it with the PC.
  7. Open command prompt on your PC: Start-> run -> cmd.
  8. Enter the following commands: fastboot -i 0xfce flash boot boot.img and fastboot -i 0xfce reboot.
  9. When the device reboots, press the Volume buttons for entering in recovery mode.
  10. From the recovery menu select to perform a quick wipe of the system: “wipe data factory reset” and “wipe cache partition”.
  11. Return to the recovery menu and this time select “install zip from sd card” and “choose zip from sd card” and pick the update file.
  12. When the process ends you will be back on the recovery menu.
  13. From there select “+++go back+++” and “reboot system now”.

Congratulations, you have succeed in updating the Sony Xperia Play with the latest ICS based XDark custom ROM firmware. Test the new OS and see how it works and if there are bugs in the system. Share the possible problems with us and with other users and stay close for further updates and tutorials.

bogs · 6 years ago

fastboot is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch files.

eTood · 6 years ago

I followed all the steps with no apparent problems and everything seemed to go smoothly. BUT on the final reboot I only get as far as the first 'Sony Ericsson' text logo splash screen - it just stays there no matter how long I wait. Then it will not power off - I need to remove battery! Each time the reboot is the same now. I need some HELP please!

michael · 6 years ago

use clockwork rom manager for this.... much easier and more effective that way than with using windows

Kays · 6 years ago

fastboot is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch files.


pray · 6 years ago

i have the same problem,, any solution for this?

Drong Bio Foo · 6 years ago

after installing ICS Dark (followed all the steps), still having problems with the booting, stuck on black screen after the sony erricson displays... HELP

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